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Bench Memos

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The American Constitution Society’s Purge?



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In doing research for my post on Pamela Karlan’s textual hallucinations, I was surprised to discover that the hyperlinks on this American Constitution Society page to Karlan’s “insightful—and witty—reflections” at the ACS’s 2006 convention and to the video of her remarks both led nowhere (or, more precisely, to “Page Not Found”). A Google search of the site fared no better.

As it happens, I had learned some months ago that ACS had removed from its website a recording of an event in which D.C. Circuit nominee Cornelia Pillard took part—an event that Pillard, in her Senate questionnaire response, says she has no record of.

I also now see that ACS has eliminated public access to two controversial transcripts (linked to, in links that are no longer operative, in these two posts of mine) that presented problems for defeated Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu.

I had thought that Stalinist airbrushing had fallen out of fashion on the Left, but I think that it’s fair to ask whether ACS, in order to advance the prospects of individuals whom it would like to see nominated and confirmed to judicial office, has decided that it’s useful to hide aspects of their records from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the public. I’d also be interested to know whether Pillard inquired of ACS whether it could provide her its recording of her event and, if so, the nature of the conversation that ensued.



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